Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions most people make in their lifetime. As a real estate agent, you can help your buyers think through areas that they may have overlooked. These five simple reminders can make sure that the buyers are ready to make an informed and winning offer on the home they desire.
1. Pay down debt. Before taking on the additional financial responsibility of paying for a home, it’s sometimes wise to rid yourself of large debts. Also, check your credit score to assure that you can qualify for a reasonable interest rate. A good credit score and low debt ratio can add up to being able to get a better rate and potentially more house.
2. Know all about the area you want to live. Some neighborhoods change from block to block so, knowing the neighborhood isn’t enough. Drill down your ideal location as fine as you can. Check future building plans in the area you decide on as well to assure you know if any surprises like parks, libraries, community centers, etc. will pop up next to your future home. And even if you don’t have kids, living in an amazing school district will dramatically increase the resale value of your home. Less appealing school districts will do the opposite.
3. Be aware of fraud in real estate. Don’t be fooled into paying your earnest money with a paper check. Your payment is more secure and trackable by paying online and ensuring your money goes directly into the appropriate trust account. Using online solutions like TrustFunds will protect your banking information and assure that the real estate transaction goes smoothly.
4. Set money aside for home improvements they may catch you by surprise. Many buyers find that once they are moved in, the items they initially thought were going to be fine, really don’t work for them. Sometimes the color of the living room doesn’t match the color of the new furniture as well as you’ve anticipated, or the granite countertops just aren’t your style. Be sure to have a little extra money set aside for these potential additional expenses as well.
5. Be aware of the personal costs that accompany the financial costs. Will buying a home cause you to need to switch kids from private to public school or put your master’s degree on hold? Will you still be able to afford your gym and other subscriptions? These personal items often play a role in how well you like your new home as well